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GM, Honda, MINI: Five New Additions To IIHS 2011 Top Safety Picks


2011 Chevrolet Traverse

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

Anytime family cars receive top safety accolades is good news for consumers looking for safe family transportation choices. As part of continuing testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has added five vehicles to its list of 2011 Top Safety Picks. The additions include a trio of GM SUVs, and one each from automakers Honda and MINI.

The criteria for winning a Top Safety Pick designation is that a vehicle must earn a “Good” (the top rating) in all of the IIHS tests, including front crash and side impact tests, head restraint design, and more stringent roof-crush test. In addition, all models must have standard or available electronic stability control (ESC).  

General Motors

The trio of GM SUVs all garnered 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick designation in the Large SUV category as a result of earning “Good” (the IIHS’s top rating) in roof strength. The designation only applies to models (Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia) manufactured after January 2011 because of running changes GM made to improve roof strength on these models.

All three GM SUVs withstood a force four times vehicle weight. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times a vehicle’s weight.

Earlier, Traverse, Enclave and Acadia earned five-star overall vehicle score in the revised New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

Safety is a big consideration in a family vehicle, and the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse crossover SUV, with its extensive list of active and passive safety features, is now among the elite group of 2011 Top Safety Picks designated by the IIHS. Prior to a crash, Traverse’s active safety features like Stabilitrak electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes (ABS) help drivers avoid crashes. Technologies to protect driver and occupants during a crash include rollover sensing, six standard airbags, front seat safety belt pretensioners and load limiters. Following a crash, OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response notifies emergency responders to get help on the scene as quickly as possible.

Chevrolet Traverse was also recently named one of the Top 10 Family Cars for 2011 by Kelley Blue Book. Traverse can seat up to eight passengers in three rows and also provides cargo capacity at the top of its class (116.4 cubic feet of space with second- and third-row seats folded down).

For more information on the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, go to TheCarConnection review here.

2011 Buick Enclave

Sharing a platform with the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, the 2011 Buick Enclave is the most upscale of the three GM SUVs winning the IIHS 2011 Top Safety Pick designation. Enclave’s comprehensive safety system (both active and passive), designed to protect all occupants before, during, and after a crash, is the same as that in Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia.

Seating for up to eight, whisper-quiet interior and luxurious cabin that many reviewers liken to riding in a private jet, and available all-wheel drive (AWD) are other highlights of the 2011 Buick Enclave.

In TheCarConnection, editors give the 2011 Buick Enclave a 7.8 (out of 10) overall rating in this review.

2011 GMC Acadia

Without repeating the standard safety technologies verbatim, suffice to say that the 2011 GMC Acadia crossover SUV has the same comprehensive safety system as Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. In addition, the application of high strength steel in key areas in Acadia (and Enclave and Traverse) helps protect occupants during a crash. But it’s the “Good” performance in roof strength that cinches Acadia’s (and Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave) as IIHS 2011 Top Safety Pick.


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